It's taking me a bit longer than I'd hoped to build up steam on my various projects now that I'm back. In particular, I've made very little progress on the HALO armor. In between short trips all over the place and a bit of shopping, it's been a bit chilly outside, and given the choice between standing in the unheated workshop tinkering or driving around in my heated car taking care of various other chores, the chores win out.
That said, there's really no excuse for all of the delay in getting this stuff knocked out. In fact, I figured out the other day that my thigh prototypes have now taken me more actual hours of work to complete than it took to make my helmet and chest prototypes combined. There are excuses for this, but the delay has become embarassing.
So the other day I pulled them out of the project pile, reshaped the back corners (where the butt will be) and added a few details. At that point they looked like so:
The biggest problem is that I've now spent enough time away from the shop and studying reference materials that I've noticed oodles and gobs of little details that needed to be fixed or added. Here's another shot of the thigh details as they looked on one side:
On the other side I added on two little latches and a couple of small bits behind the knee, and then I scored the seam lines near the knee. After that, I decided I'd reached the zit stage of this piece (that's where you just need to leave it alone because messing with it any more will only make it worse).
With that done, it was time to make the whole mess of mixed media and found items all one color. Here's the left thigh smoothed out, detailed, and primed:
The last thing I allowed myself to add were these little bits at the back of the knees:
Once that was attached, I told myself that I have to stop improving them or I'd never actually produce any castings of these parts. Once I'd primed them I made myself busy on a few other projects for a while before test fitting:
I plan on making the castings rigid, so it's important that there's enough of a gap at the knee to be able to kneel, sit, run, dance, do jumping jacks, or whatever else comes up.* I used to not mind giving up comfort or mobility to make a costume look right, but I was spoiled by my last Spartan costume. Now they have to look right and be comfortable.
They'll fit great for anyone taller than me (I'm 5'7" tall) since this just means a bigger gap at the knees and hips. Once I've started pulling castings out of the molds, I might need to shave half an inch off the top of my pair in order to optimize the fit.
Of course I couldn't be sure until I tried them both on:
And verified my ability to strike iconic poses:
The inner thighs (which I still haven't prototyped yet) will be made of the same foam rubber and fabric combination as the rest of the undersuit. Hopefully they'll help to keep the thighs in place and prevent them from rolling around. I'm still working out the strapping system that will hold them to the belt.
Coming up: I'm going to be finishing up the larger sized version of the torso armor, remolding the my-sized version of the torso armor, forming my undersuit parts in foam rubber, making a prototype for the inner thighs, and re-inventing my boot molds so I can make the soles and the uppers more reliably.
*Stop thinking those sorts of things!